Putin declares the games open

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Associated Press

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 4:34 PM

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared the Winter Olympics open.

At the opening ceremonies in the Russian city of Sochi, Putin looked on from his box high above the stadium floor as athletes walked onto a satellite image of the earth, projected onto the floor. The map shifted so that the athletes emerged from their own country.

A raucous group of Russian athletes marched into the rollicking ceremony with a message to their rivals, singing: you're "not gonna get us."

The honor of lighting the cauldron that will burn throughout the games went to Russian who's regarded as one of the greatest goaltenders of all time, Vladislav Tretiak, and figure skater Irina Rodnina, who won three straight Olympic pairs titles.

The show opened with a hiccup, when only four of the five Olympic rings materialized. Five large, glowing snowflakes were supposed to morph into the rings, but only four of them joined together while the fifth remained a snowflake. And they failed to erupt into white flames as planned.

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190-s-38-(Kyle McKinnon, AP correspondent)--The opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games has a different vibe than previous events. AP correspondent Kyle McKinnon reports. (7 Feb 2014)

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176-v-35-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP correspondent)--The Sochi opening ceremony hit an early snag. AP correspondent Sagar Meghani reports. (7 Feb 2014)

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171-v-33-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP correspondent)--The Sochi Games have begun with the traditional grand Olympic spectacle. AP correspondent Sagar Meghani reports. (7 Feb 2014)

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APPHOTO BA102: The Olympic flame is lit during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) (7 Feb 2014)

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APPHOTO OLYAJ110: Fireworks explode over Fisht Olympic Stadium at the end of the opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) (7 Feb 2014)

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APPHOTO OLY494: Irina Rodnina, left, receives the torch from Alina Kabaeva as Vladislav Tretyak looks at them, during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) (7 Feb 2014)

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APPHOTO OLYMG119: One of the Olympic rings fails to open during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip ) (7 Feb 2014)

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APPHOTO OLY190: Artists perform as snow flakes start forming the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) (7 Feb 2014)

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